The Look Glass Magic Mirror

Basic Information

Title: The Look Glass Magic Mirror
Artist(s): Claudia Hart
Date Created: 2014
Unframed Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 2 in.
Inventory ID: Hart-2014-02


all pieces were hand-thrown by ceramicist Kimi Kim

iPad is loaded with The Looking Glass custom software

information about this work from the artist’s website:
“August – November, 2014
The New Museum
New York, NY

Welcome to Alice’s Giftshop! was a 3 month presentation, From August through November of 2014, in the window and shop of the New Museum, in downtown New York City. It presented a special edition of augmented-reality housewares created specially for the New Museum Store. With the Looking Glass tableware set, literary nonsense is hidden beneath the seamless surface of elegant “museum store design.” The napkins and placemats were inspired by Lewis Carroll’s 1865 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and explore a populist culture so addicted to the devices of high technology that it can only bear a world that is filtered through them. The store window display installation includes also Hart’s augmented reality Nue Morte tableware and a Nue Morte quilt. All of these are works of domestic housewares that also function as participatory objects engaging virtual worlds.

Using a variety of platforms, Hart’s works present two realities: the physical and the hidden; or the dormant and the expressive. The works build a space that is interactive and irrational, navigable using Hart’s custom-designed Looking Glass augmented-reality viewer, using a the free Layar app uploadable online with any smartphone or tablet. The Looking Glass makes visible hidden Alice animated, text-based content. Programmed by the artist, these multimedia objects craft metaphors that unfold using computer-vision, revealing “magical” layers of new information.

With the Looking Glass, viewers can glimpse non-sense, hidden messages culled from Alice In Wonderland embedded in Hart’s special fabric-pattern tags, she has programmed to be viewable through your smartphone or tablet – viewed in the New Museum window through Samsung Galaxy Tab S tablets sponsored by Samsung. Excerpts of Carroll’s text flash on-screen, and augment the geometric abstraction presented as a fabric picture plane. Carroll’s poetic nonsense now appears as strobing, flickering billboard graphics that evoke popup banner ads and trashy web design. A strobing concrete poetry emerges, as a result of haptic communication between the human and the machine.

In the window display created for the New Museum Store, Hart also showed her artisanal plates, in which she first brought the conversation about technology to the dinner table, a site long equated with Feminist strategies. Here, the experience of a feast is disrupted by the virtual world. Delicate paper porcelain, hand-thrown by ceramicist Kimi Kim, the Nue Morte dishes and an Alices tea set, specially produced for the New Museum Store, drew on the visual style and psychological subject matter of early Surrealist photography and film.”


More Artworks By Claudia Hart

The Looking Glass Tea Set

all pieces are signed and dated on the bottom in Sharpie by the artist and ceramicist all pieces were hand-thrown by ceramicist Kimi Kim plate: diameter 13” tea pot: 4.75” X 5” X 8.5” cups and saucers: 3.5” X 2” X 4” information about this work from the artist’s website: “August – November, 2014 The […]